460 Lake Street
Oak Park, IL 60302
(708) 848-5869
Email :: Directions


Mondays through Thursdays

Early arrival begins at 8:00AM and the afternoon session ends at 3:45PM. See Programs for specific class times.

Pilgrim Community Nursery School is accredited by the National Association for the Education of Young Children.

Welcome to Pilgrim Community Nursery School

Welcome to Pilgrim Community Nursery School, located in Pilgrim Congregational Church of Oak Park, Illinois.
We are a nonprofit, nonsectarian nursery school serving the community of Oak Park, Illinois and surrounding communities. We welcome children of all races, religions, ethnic backgrounds and economic situations. Our students represent the rich diversity of the greater Oak Park area.
Pilgrim is accredited by NAEYC, the National Association for the Education of Young Children and has received Gold Star designation – the highest possible rating – from ExceleRate Illinois, the state’s quality rating and improvement system for early learning and development providers.

2016-2017 Prospective Families

Our enrollment night for prospective families will be January 13, 2016 at 6:30 pm.  Join us to meet the staff, hear about our programs and curriculum and see the school.  You can also contact our interim directors for more information and a tour at any time.  More information is located under the Enrollment link.
Join us December 5th for the Cookie Walk, a great Pilgrim tradition, and get a taste of our great school community AND some delicious cookies!

Cookie Walk Q&A

How many cookies do I need to bake?

One Little Pilgrim = 8 dozen cookies
Two Little Pilgrims = 12 dozen cookies
Three or more Little Pilgrims = 16 dozen cookies

If I participate in a baking day will I meet my baking requirement?


Can I submit store bought cookies?

Unfortunately, no.

That said, we are neither meanies nor monsters. We are just preschooler parents like you. If you have extenuating circumstances that will keep you from baking or buying out, please, please let us know (the sooner the better!). Lean on the Pilgrim Community and we’ll figure it out together. After all, Community is (quite literally) our middle name.

Are you going to turn away my cookies for not being fancy enough?

No! Not at all!! We already love all of your delicious and delightful homemade goodies. Just promise us that you’ll feel festive and have fun getting them done.

How can I fulfill my volunteer requirement if I am out of town on December 5?

Lots of ways! Sign up for a volunteer shift that occurs before or after the walk. Convince a neighbor or friend to stand in your place. Grandparents are welcome too! Won’t work? Again, reach out, the sooner the better, and we will find a way for you to contribute to the school and get those volunteer hours in!



Raffle Roundup

The cookie walk raffle donation box is out and ready for donations!  Parent donations of UNOPENED and UNUSED items are what help to make our raffle great!
What to donate?
Duplicate gifts you couldn’t return
Kids Books, Puzzles, Toys, Board Games
Cookware, Wine, Unopened Teas & Coffees
You may be surprised at what you find!
How to donate?
Label item with your name and estimated value (so we can say thank you and give a receipt).
Put your item in the box. Easy peasy.
We’re also seeking donations from community businesses – if you have any contacts let us know!
If your donation is large and requires pickup or if you have any questions, please contact Stacey:
The box will be out through the end of November.

47 Days Until Cookie Walk!

It’s Cookie Walk time!  You’re busy.  We’re busy.  So we are going to keep it simple.  See the Cookie Walk section under Events for more details, or click here.

Top Five Reasons that Cookie Walk 2015 is going to Rock

1.  First and Foremost, think Festive and Fun!

2.  Memories will be made!   It’s about the quality time you can spend with your little Pilgrims in the kitchen.

3. We have the answer!!  Questions?  Concerns?  We are here for you and we have an answer.  Please join us in the parlor on OCTOBER 21 during both AM and PM sessions.  Coffee and treats will be served!

4. Back by popular demand . . . BAKING DAYS!

5. Baked GOODS are GOOD!

So get ready and mark your calendars!!

Any questions or concerns, please see the Cookie Walk page under Events, then email Megan Galeener


Spirit Week


We had a great Spirit Week at Pilgrim!  It was wonderful to see everyone wearing blue on Spirit Day and we had beautiful weather for the Ice Cream Social and Fall Fest.  Thanks to all the room parents and volunteers who brought toppings and helped run the ice cream social and to all the parents who helped make Fall Fest such a success.

PCNS Receives ExceleRate Illinois Gold Circle of Quality Designation

excelerate_RGB_webPilgrim Community Nursery School has received the Gold Circle of Quality designation – the highest possible rating – from ExceleRate Illinois, the state’s new quality rating and improvement system for early learning and development providers.

ExceleRate Illinois recognizes commitment to quality by early education programs. The Gold Circle of Quality designation recognizes programs that have demonstrated quality on all 15 standards examined, as validated by an independent assessor. Gold Circle programs meet or exceed specific quality benchmarks on learning environment, instructional quality, and all program administrative standards; group size and staff/child ratios; staff qualifications; and professional development.

ExceleRate Illinois is administered through INCCRRA under the joint direction of the Governor’s Office of Early Childhood Development, the Illinois Department of Human Services, and the Illinois State Board of Education. For more information on ExceleRate Illinois and the Gold Circle of Quality designation, visit

Pilgrim Community Nursery School Teachers, Students Inspire Novelist Elizabeth Berg

For more than 45 years, the teachers at Pilgrim Community Nursery School have shaped the lives of countless students from across Oak Park and surrounding communities.

Now, those teachers are helping to breathe “life” into a fictional character.

Sometime next year, readers of New York Times Best Selling Author Elizabeth Berg will meet Jane, a retired nursery school teacher who still wears trinkets made by her students, and whose on-the-job experiences contribute to her world view, according to Berg.

“I began writing this book knowing the protagonist was going to be a preschool teacher,” she said. “And she needed to have some of the characteristics I had associated with nursery school teachers.”

That’s where Pilgrim School comes into play.

Read more at TribLocal Oak Park / River Forest.